ESPN buys world's biggest cricket site Cricinfo

LONDON - ESPN, the US sports channel owned by Disney, has acquired the cricket website Cricinfo from The Wisden Group.

The move marks ESPN biggest online foray into cricket and gives it control of the world's largest cricket news and information website.

ESPN plans to keep the cricket site as a separate brand and the value of the deal was not disclosed.

Cricinfo was started in 1993 as an online community of cricket fans supplying cricket-related information on a voluntary basis.

It was bought in 2003 by Wisden Group, which owns the Hawk-Eye sports technology business, and merged with Wisden's own cricket website.

Following the sale, the group said it would continue to focus on its Hawk-Eye business in cricket, tennis and a growing range of other sports.

Mark Getty, Wisden Group director, said: "Cricinfo has developed into a significant cricket brand in its own right, combining huge global popularity with strong commercial success.

ESPN is a major sports broadcaster and international rights holder and will provide the perfect environment for Cricinfo to further realise its enormous potential."

Russell Wolff, managing director of ESPN International, said: "Growing our business in the online world is vital for us to serve sports fans. Cricinfo is a tremendous property with a great fan base and it will be a strong addition to ESPN."

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